Michael Lindsay-Hogg

Sir Michael Edward Lindsay-Hogg, 5th Baronet (born 5 May 1940) is a British television, film, music video, and theatre director. Beginning his career in British television, Lindsay-Hogg became a pioneer in music film production, directing promotional films for the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Following his work with these bands, he branched out into film and theatre, while still maintaining successful careers in television and music video production.

Michael Edward Lindsay-Hogg

Born (1940-05-05) 5 May 1940
EducationTrinity School
Choate School
Years active1965–present
Notable work
Lucy Mary Davies
(m. 1967; div. 1971)

Early life and parentage

Michael Lindsay-Hogg was born in New York City in 1940 to actress Geraldine Fitzgerald. He was educated at Trinity School in New York and at Choate School in Connecticut.[1] For most of his early life, he understood that his father was Fitzgerald's husband, Sir Edward Lindsay-Hogg, to whom she was married until 1946. When Michael Lindsay-Hogg was 16, his mother reluctantly divulged that there had been pervasive rumours that his father was Orson Welles, and she denied them—but in such detail that he was left confused and dubious.[2][3]:15 Fitzgerald evaded the subject for the rest of her life.

Lindsay-Hogg knew Welles, worked with him in the theatre, and met him at intervals throughout Welles's life.[4] After he learned that Welles's oldest daughter, Chris, his childhood playmate, had long suspected that he was her brother,[5] Lindsay-Hogg initiated a DNA test, which proved inconclusive. In his 2011 autobiography Lindsay-Hogg reported that his questions were resolved by his mother's close friend Gloria Vanderbilt, who wrote that Fitzgerald had told her that Welles was his father.[3]:265–267 A 2015 Welles biography by Patrick McGilligan, however, argues that Welles could not be the father: Fitzgerald left the U.S. for Ireland in May 1939, and was pregnant at the time she returned in late October, while Welles did not travel overseas during that period.[6]

Lindsay-Hogg grew up with a stepfather, American businessman Stuart Scheftel, who married Fitzgerald in 1946.[7]


Lindsay-Hogg began his career in 1965, directing episodes of the British pop programme Ready Steady Go! featuring artists such as the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, and the Who. In addition to these he directed episodes of Blackmail, The Informer, A Man of Our Times, Half Hour Story, and The Company of Five, a series of television plays. He served as the series director of The Ronnie Barker Playhouse in 1968. In 1969, an episode that he directed of the mystery/supernatural anthology series Journey to the Unknown was released as part of a TV movie.

Through his work on Ready Steady Go!, Lindsay-Hogg became acquainted with some of the top rock artists of the day, and was subsequently hired to direct promotional films for their songs. Some of his early promo film work includes films for the Beatles' "Paperback Writer", "Rain", "Hey Jude", and "Revolution" and the Rolling Stones' "She's a Rainbow", "2000 Light Years from Home", and "Jumpin' Jack Flash". His work on these and other films led Camerimage to award him a retrospective "Music Video Pioneer" award in 2012.[8] The Rolling Stones liked his work, and he was approached in 1968 to direct a full-length television special. Lindsay-Hogg conceived The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, featuring the Stones and other musicians playing in a circus atmosphere. The band was not completely satisfied with the result, and the film did not see release until 1996.

Lindsay-Hogg was hired by the Beatles to direct a film. Originally conceived as a television special, Get Back was to feature footage of the Beatles recording a new album and rehearsing for a concert appearance. However, the sessions were extremely acrimonious, and the film and album were shelved for a time following the Beatles' rooftop concert in January 1969. The Beatles returned to the project, and released the newly retitled Let It Be (1970) along with an album of the same name.

Following Let It Be, Lindsay-Hogg continued his work in UK television, directing both episodes and TV movies, including work on the TV serial Brideshead Revisited (1981). His work on the BBC series Play for Today and Play of the Week, and the serial Brideshead Revisited were each nominated for BAFTA awards, in 1974, 1978, and 1983, respectively, with Brideshead Revisited winning for Best Drama Series/Serial. His second feature film as director, Nasty Habits (1977), is a comedy satire of the Watergate scandal. His third theatrical film, The Sound of Murder, was released in 1982.

Lindsay-Hogg continued directing music videos throughout the 1970s, including many for the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney and Wings. In 1985, he directed the video for Whitney Houston's single "You Give Good Love". During the 1980s he returned to directing concert films, including Simon and Garfunkel's The Concert in Central Park, Neil Young's Neil Young in Berlin and Paul Simon, Graceland: The African Concert. Lindsay-Hogg's work in the 1980s also included directing TV movies of various plays and novels, including adaptations of Doctor Fischer of Geneva (1984), Master Harold...and the Boys (1985), As Is (1986), and The Little Match Girl (1987).

Lindsay-Hogg's The Object of Beauty for the BBC's Screen Two series of television films received positive reviews in 1991, and his comedy/drama for HBO, Running Mates, was broadcast in 1992. Frankie Starlight (1995), which followed, was met with mixed reception.[9] In 1994, he directed the Roger Daltrey concert film A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who. The VH1 television movie entitled Two of Us (2000), is a fictionalized account of the last meeting between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. He directed a film adaptation of Samuel Beckett's absurdist play Waiting for Godot (2001).

In addition to his television and film work, Lindsay-Hogg is known for his work in theatre. He directed both the original 1978 production (for which he was nominated for a Tony Award) and 1980 revival of Whose Life Is It Anyway?. He also directed Broadway productions of Agnes of God (1982), and The Boys of Winter (1985). Off-Broadway, he helmed Larry Kramer's AIDS drama The Normal Heart in 1985.

His autobiography entitled Luck and Circumstance: A Coming of Age in Hollywood, New York, and Points Beyond was published in 2011. It chronicles his career and his relationship with Orson Welles. After a long hiatus from television and film work, Lindsay-Hogg began directing the television series Tinsel's Town in 2015.[10]

Personal life

Lindsay-Hogg married Lucy Mary Davies in 1967; they divorced in 1971. Lucy Lindsay-Hogg subsequently became the second wife of photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon, in 1978.[11]

For 10 years, in the 1970s, Lindsay-Hogg was romantically involved with British actress Jean Marsh.[12] He had also been involved with Gloria Vanderbilt, the person who assured Lindsay-Hogg that Welles was his father.[4]

In 1999, he succeeded to the baronetcy of Rotherfield Hall after the death of his father Sir Edward Lindsay-Hogg, 4th Baronet.



Music video


  1. Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Luck and Circumstance: A Coming of Age in Hollywood, New York, and Points Beyond (New York, 2011), passim
  2. Hodgson, Moira (September 30, 2011). "A Director Casts About for Clues". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2015-08-31.
  3. Lindsay-Hogg, Michael (2011). Luck and Circumstance: A Coming of Age in Hollywood, New York and Points Beyond. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-307-59468-6.
  4. Witchel, Alex (September 30, 2011). "Are You My Father, Orson Welles?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-09-01.
  5. Thorpe, Vanessa (30 January 2010). "The 'only son' of Orson Welles to take DNA test". Retrieved 2015-08-31.
  6. McGilligan, Patrick (2015). Young Orson. New York: Harper. p. 602. ISBN 978-0-06-211248-4.
  7. Adams, Bernard (19 July 2005). "Geraldine Fitzgerald". The Independent. Retrieved 2015-09-01.
  8. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0512327/awards
  9. Maslin, Janet (22 November 1995). "Original ''New York Times'' review". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2011-01-18.
  10. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4267448
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-07-16. Retrieved 2013-07-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. Sinmon Cable "I'm looking to find love again at 76, confesses Upstairs, Downstairs Jean Marsh", Daily Mail, 3 February 2011
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edward William Lindsay-Hogg
(of Rotherfield Hall)
Succeeded by
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